Arsenal fans are absolutely raging on a 24/7 cycle at the moment. Matt on the podcast told me he thinks we’re nearing New York Knicks levels of consistent disappointment in the way things go for our club. I could not disagree.
Old Le Grove would double down and join the thomas party. New Le Grove needs some light this summer. So I’m going on the counter here.
First thing we need to remember: Nothing has happened yet.
Emi Buendia rumours are simply rumours. Remember, the world of ‘transfer gossip’ is now big business if you want to be famous for something utterly pointless.
‘Oh, what I’ve heard is Edu wore the wrong shirt on the zoom’
‘Arsenal were interested, but slow’
‘Arsenal offered up a payment structure unbefitting of their prestige’
‘There wasn’t a good plan from Arteta’
Come on people, all of these things can’t be true, so what’s the point in raging?
Here’s what happens with transfer rumour merchants.
One person says ‘ARSENAL TO BID FOR BUENDIA’
Others hopeful ITKs don’t want to miss out so will support the rumour with blend of ‘hearing the same’ and ‘they’ve scouted him’ or the ultimate copout ‘they like the player.’
This is an echo chamber used to protect reps, but it’s not grounded in reality, because most people don’t really have good sources on transfer deals.
When everyone is saying a similar shade of the same thing, fans take it as gospel, not realising there’s a whole world of hedging that goes on in this game. I can’t even feel sorry for people, I get sent tweets from smart people ‘@Joerbill698490000 ‘DEAL IS CLOSE ON X PLAYER’… like, honestly, these are the accounts that are riling you up? Every summer, 10 accounts hoping to get famous show up with fake rumours, every summer, people follow along and get angry when it falls through.
Sometimes YOUR taste in players is absolutely terrible. Same here people, I’ve tied my reputation to some absolute shockers over the years. Where I’m going here is this: Last summer, Arsenal fans were tweeting ‘This club is FINISHED’ when Edu tried to move for Jorginho and John Stones. A season on, how are we feeling about those taste levels?
Reuben Neves might be an unsexy signing but that doesn’t mean he can’t fit the club as a whole. Do my loins moisten? No. But look, not many people have purred over Jorginho over the past few years, and it’s clear that every manager that works with him loves him, now he’s a Champions League winner. John Stones was a joke on this forum, I’ve had one guy tweet me every time he makes a mistake for years because I liked him, now he’s a league winner and one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
Pulling players out of underperforming clubs, if done with sharp data analysis, can be a winning move. Can’t imagine too many Arsenal fans were clamouring for Wijnaldum when he was bumming around at Newcastle, now he’s out at Liverpool and he’s joined PSG. Can you imagine if we’d gone for Choupo Moting after Stoke? He just signed a new deal with Bayern. We have to give this new scouting model a crack, if the sharp people on the laptops are recommending these players, then let’s see what’s what before crying that our club is over.
Everyone keen to jump on the Bissouma bandwagon, his agent is pushing his clients’ name towards Arsenal this summer, and it would make a lot of sense. Why are Arsenal fans excited about him? Because we’ve been starved of athletes for years. We’d take power and pace over a technician all day long (not that Bissouma is just P&P), but there has to be a balance. Again, I have no idea if we’re in for him, but he checks a lot of boxes and we have a make-weight with Eddie that would suit Brighton’s need for a proper finisher next season.
There’s also a lot of slander in the system for Martin Odegaard packaged with bad business ideas.
Here are the rules for Odegaard.
- He’s either good enough or he’s not. If the analysts at Arsenal have watched him at uncomfortably close quarters for 5 months and there’s still a ‘maybe’ about him, we shouldn’t go back for him. Reality? 5 months of intimate scouting will tell Arteta and Edu exactly what they need to do.
- You don’t loan a 22-year-old for a year if you are convinced he’s good enough. Creativity is a massive issue at Arsenal, he’s a big creator, if he’s the one, we need him on a perm deal. Developing other clubs talents is an absolute no-no, because we’re either pumping his price, or we’re bringing in an uncomitted duffer like Dani C and we’ll not move forward. There needs to be an answer.
- Football is bankrupt the world over. This summer will mark one of the most distressed markets in history. Odegaard is gettable this season for a good price because Madrid will likely have bigger targets elsewhere. Move on him now.
- Concerns about impact should be very much weighed against a few things. Firstly, he had only played 300 minutes prior to joining us in January. Secondly, the Premier League is really hard to adapt to. Thirdly, he came into a very broken squad. I think there is every chance that with a good preseason and a better understanding of the league… he could blow up.
Big club buy, they don’t rent.
The final rumour I want to talk about is the swap deal for Hector Bellerin and Aaron Ramsey.
I really hope we don’t go there. 65 appearances in 2 season, 6 goals, 6 assists. £400k a week deal. 30 years old. Injured all the time. He is not reliable, his numbers have cratered, and he’s been a superstar signing that has contributed to Juve falling off. Let him go to Everton.
The one joy I’ve taken from most of the transfer rumours this summer is the players all seem be sub 25 years old. That’s how it should be. We need a squad of sharp talent that we can develop and grow with. I don’t want to revisit old movies we know the ending of. How often has going back in time worked for Arsenal? Almost never. We are bad at signing older players, really bad.
The big lesson of last season is that the younger players respond better to the way of Mikel Arteta. Older players aren’t interested because they are at the stage of their careers where they don’t need to learn new tricks.